Healthy Vegan Cajun Gumbo with Okra

This creamy, tasty Louisiana Vegan Gumbo is simply the best - packed with veggies, vibrant Cajun spices and okra! Serve it with rice or cauliflower rice for hearty and flavor-packed Southern comfort food meal that is healthy and plant-based! Better than the one from Disneyland #veganrecipes ,#comfortfood #southernrecipes #disneyrecipes

This creamy, tasty Louisiana Vegan Gumbo is packed with veggies, vibrant Cajun spices and okra! Serve it with rice or cauliflower rice for hearty and flavor-packed Southern comfort food meal that is healthy and plant-based!

overhead shot of a serving of healthy Louisiana vegan Gumbo served with rice

You can’t beat a piping hot bowl of stew when it’s grey and rainy out. Vegan Gumbo, however, is a dish I could eat all year round no matter the season. It just feels light while still providing that sense of comfort we seek in a bowl of stew! Not only is it plant-based/vegan, but it is also extremely delicious, with a rich flavor that comes from a slow-cooked roux, warming Cajun Spices and plenty of fresh healthy vegetables including the Cajun Holy Trinity.

“The Holy Trinity”

The so-called holy trinity in Cajun cuisine and Creole cuisine forms the base for many traditional dishes in the regional cuisines of Louisiana and consists of finely diced onions, bell peppers and celery. The preparation of most Cajun/Creole dishes such as crawfish étouffée and jambalaya all start from this base. In this Vegan Gumbo recipe, we add this veggie trinity to a homemade roux along with cauliflower, okra, and crushed tomatoes.

overhead close-up of a bowl of creamy vegan gumbo served with rice

What are typical Cajun seasonings?

So, what is Cajun seasoning, you ask?  It’s a vibrant red seasoning blend that hails from Louisiana, the heartland of Cajun cuisine.  Every home cook puts their own spin on it, but it always features lots of paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, and oregano.  More things can be added to taste. I like to mix in some thyme.

I find it offers the perfect blend of zesty, spicy and savory flavors that are sure to kick any dish up a notch. If you already have a jar of Cajun seasoning in your spice drawer, you can use that. If not, make your own blend using the recipe below and put it into everything – dips, stews, grilled chicken. You name it.

It only takes a few minutes to make, and I bet you already have the ingredients in your pantry.

two hands holding a bowl of vegan gumbo served with rice and sprinkled with scallions

This vegan Cajun dish a little spicy but still mild. You can cut the spiciness by skipping the tabasco. If you want to make this spicier, add some cayenne pepper to your Cajun spice mix.

How to make Cajun Vegan Gumbo:

Step 1 – Have all your ingredients ready before starting because the roux doesn’t wait! Prep the veggies (keep the cauliflower separated, it goes in after the other veggies) and if you want, mix the spices together, as well as the liquid seasonings (tabasco, liquid smoke, Worcestershire sauce).

picture gallery demonstrating how to make the perfect roux for vegan gumbo

How to make a roux:

Step 2 – Start with the roux. In a large, heavy-bottom pot, heat oil on medium-high heat. When hot, add the flour and whisk until incorporated.

Step 3 – Continue cooking, whisking constantly, for about 20 minutes or until the mixture (called a roux) reaches a dark amber color. Make sure to keep an eye on the roux at all times to make sure it doesn’t burn. Reduce the heat if it’s browning too quickly and starts smelling a bit burnt.

picture gallery of vegan gumbo being prepared in a silver saucepan

Step 4 – Once the roux reaches the perfect color, immediately stir in bell pepper, celery, onion, garlic, and okra. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the veggies are softened, stirring every 15 seconds or so.

Step 5 – Stir in stock and crushed tomatoes. Mix until well combined, then stir in cauliflower, spices and seasonings (paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, thyme, bay leaf, salt, pepper, Tabasco, liquid smoke and Worcestershire sauce).

Step 6 – Bring to a simmer (this will take anywhere for 5 to 10 minutes) and then cook for another 15 minutes or so, until the cauliflower is tender (you should be able to easily pierce the florets with a knife).

overhead shot of a bowl of vegan Louisiana gumbo with okra and cauliflower served with rice

What to serve with Vegan Gumbo:

I personally like to serve this with rice and some chopped spring onions ( scallions) on top. This is the traditional New Orleans way to serve it. If you want to serve it the low carb-ish way, cauliflower rice would be preferable.

Can I make this gluten-free?

This recipe would probably also work using a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend (I like Bob’s Red Mill) instead of the regular AP flour when making your roux.

overhead shot of a bowl of best healthy vegan Louisiana Gumbo served with rice and scallions

Tips for making this Vegan Gumbo recipe:

  • Don’t rush the roux –  Cook it long and slow until it reaches a milk chocolate color. It requires a bit of patience and a lot of stirring but it’s totally worth it and should don’t be rushed.
  • Don’t walk away from the roux – It’s your base, so if you burn it, you have to start again. A heavy-bottomed pan reduces the chance of burning, just as a tip.
  • You can use vegan butter for making the roux.
  • If you want, you could even add some store-bought vegan meatballs or chopped up vegan sausage to this soup.
  • This stew is even better the next day when the flavors have had a chance to blend! It will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days.
  • To freeze: let it cool completely, place in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months.
overhead shot of vegan gumbo served with white rice
5 from 5 votes
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Louisiana Vegan Gumbo

This creamy, tasty Louisiana Vegan Gumbo is packed with veggies, vibrant Cajun spices and okra! Serve it with rice or cauliflower rice for hearty and flavor-packed Southern comfort food meal that is healthy and plant-based!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword louisiana vegan gumbo, vegan recipe for gumbo, vegetarian gumbo recipe
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 servings
Calories 298 kcal
Author Marie

Ingredients

Roux

  • 1/4 cup  oil I used avocado oil - olive oil works too
  • 1/3  cup all-purpose flour

Veggies

  • medium bell peppers cored and finely chopped
  • celery stalks diced
  • onion diced
  • 1 cup  sliced okra you can use fresh or frozen
  • cloves garlic minced
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 14- oz  can crushed tomatoes
  • 4 cups cauliflower florets about half of a medium cauliflower head

Spices and seasonings

  • 1 tablespoon  paprika
  • 2 teaspoon  garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon  onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon  dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon  dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon  black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon vegetarian Worcestershire sauce

To Serve

  • 4 tablespoons scallions finely chopped, to serve (optional)
  • 4 cups of cooked rice not included in nutritional facts

Instructions

  1. Have all your ingredients ready before starting because the roux doesn’t wait! Prep the veggies (keep the cauliflower separated, it goes in after the other veggies) and if you want, mix the spices together, as well as the liquid seasonings (tabasco, liquid smoke, Worcestershire sauce).
  2. Start with the roux. In a large, heavy-bottom pot, heat oil on medium-high heat. When hot, add the flour and whisk until incorporated. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, for about 20 minutes or until the mixture (called a roux) reaches a dark amber color. Make sure to keep an eye on the roux at all times to make sure it doesn’t burn. Reduce the heat if it’s browning too quickly and starts smelling a bit burnt.
  3. Once the roux reaches the perfect color, immediately stir in bell pepper, celery, onion, garlic, and okra. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the veggies are softened, stirring every 15 seconds or so.
  4. Stir in stock and crushed tomatoes. Mix until well combined, then stir in cauliflower, spices and seasonings (paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, thyme, bay leaf, salt, pepper, Tabasco, liquid smoke and Worcestershire sauce). Bring to a simmer (this will take anywhere for 5 to 10 minutes) and then cook for another 15 minutes or so, until the cauliflower is tender (you should be able to easily pierce the florets with a knife).
  5. Serve with hot cooked rice, and top with scallions. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

  • The rice is not included in the nutritional facts
  • Don't rush the roux -  Cook it long and slow until it reaches a milk chocolate color. It requires a bit of patience and a lot of stirring but it’s totally worth it and should don't be rushed.
  • Don't walk away from the roux - It's your base, so if you burn it, you have to start again. A heavy-bottomed pan reduces the chance of burning, just as a tip.
  • This stew is even better the next day when the flavors have had a chance to blend! It will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days.
  • To freeze: let it cool completely, place in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months.
Nutrition Facts
Louisiana Vegan Gumbo
Amount Per Serving (1 /4 without rice)
Calories 298 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 1970mg86%
Potassium 936mg27%
Carbohydrates 36g12%
Fiber 9g38%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 4715IU94%
Vitamin C 144.7mg175%
Calcium 162mg16%
Iron 5mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Recipe adapted from Gimme Some Oven

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9 Comments
  1. Gumbo is such a comforting food. I agree that most of the ingredients and spices are pantry items making this a great recipe to keep on hand. Delicious!

  2. Just made this tonight. Beautiful. I used wholemeal flour instead and substituted okra with green beans due to availability. Worked well, thanks! 🙂

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